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Sponsored by: RSL Fiber Systems
April 21, 2022

RSL Fiber Systems

Address: 473 Silver Lane; East Hartford, CT 06118
Phone: (860) 282-4930
Product or Service: Manufacturer of advanced fiber optic lighting,billumination & safety systems for military & commercial applications.
Head of Company: Giovanni Tomasi
Year Founded: 2001
More Information

Pursuers of New Possibilities in Complex Environments

For more than 20 years, RSL Fiber Systems has been an innovator and industry leader in advanced fiber optic lighting, illumination, and safety systems for military and commercial applications.

RSL develops and manufactures ultradurable lighting systems using fiber optic technology for challenging applications where conventional lighting devices could fail to operate reliably. The company’s products are used on ships, in gas turbine enclosures, and in industrial lighting applications.

“We are a ‘development and implementation’ company,” says Giovanni Tomasi, CEO and chief technology officer of the East Hartford-based company. “We develop new products to solve what were once considered ‘impossible’ problems using advanced solid-state and fiber optic technologies and implement the resulting products in real world applications. We are so passionate about what we do because we see our efforts solving problems in the real world.”

Working with the U.S. Navy Office of Naval Research (ONR), under the Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) program, RSL developed a full line of mission-critical lighting systems that have been used since 2004 on the U.S. Navy LPD 17 USS San Antonio class of amphibious ships. The lighting solutions have further been adapted to the DDG 1000 USS Zumwalt stealth destroyer class and to the Italian FREMM frigate class, with more than 180 systems providing service to naval combatants operating throughout the globe.

RSL also developed a line of fiber optic lighting systems for use in hazardous and extremely hot environments which are in use worldwide to illuminate power generating gas turbines and provide safety lighting for inspection and maintenance personnel.

The company’s newest product, the Zumwalt Smart Lighting System, brings the quality and durability of the lights used on the LPD 17, FREMM, and DDG 1000 to a wide variety of low and high-ceiling commercial applications, including the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology which chose to install the system.

After receiving approval from the U.S. State Department to allow the use of its lights by a foreign military, two of the Italian-built FREMM frigates were sold to Egypt enabling RSL to expand its market presence and ensure repeat business for the systems.

RSL has also received two contracts to develop distributed fiber optic sensing systems to monitor electrical distribution networks on U.S. Navy ships, with an additional contract pending and awaiting funding.

Tomasi feels there is a “Buy U.S. Made” trend taking place in the country – a trend he feels will benefit not only RSL but the entire U.S. manufacturing sector.

“The realization is that the U.S.A. can produce the highest quality products and that this quality is well worth the cost premiums driven by the higher wages we pay American workers when compared to Asian counterparts,” Tomasi says. “This trend has originated from the supply chain shortages especially of products with high foreign-made and high China-made contents. We always sourced parts for our military products in the U.S.A. but now we are looking to source parts for even our commercial products domestically and ideally in Connecticut. We believe that this trend will help companies compete with the very low-cost – and low quality – foreign suppliers.”

Proud of his talented and committed team plus the tremendous partnerships the company has with organizations like ThinkSynergy, Novus Insight, the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Alpha Automation, and Frasal Tool, Tomasi says RSL always has an eye to the future.

“We are pursuers of possibilities,” Tomasi says. “We work to design technologies that make our world safer and more efficient. We take one of the world’s most basic and omnipresent energies – light – and find ways to harness it to solve problems.”

“There is a great deal of satisfaction seeing a Navy ship sail by with our navigation and signaling lights, knowing that sailors will be able to focus on the mission not on fixing broken lights, and knowing that personnel entering that gas turbine enclosure for maintenance will safely see the equipment and obstacles thanks to our lights.”